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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015
Origins Available: English, Irish
Where did the English Godfrey family come from? What is the English Godfrey family crest and coat of arms? When did the Godfrey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Godfrey family history?The history of the name Godfrey begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from the baptismal name for the son of Godfrey. Baptismal names were a form of patronymic surnames, and came from either the religious or vernacular given name traditions. In this case, the patronym was adopted from the personal name of the bearers father.
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Godfrey has been recorded under many different variations, including Godfrey, Godfry, Godfrie, Godfree, Godfery, Godkin and many more.
First found in Kent. One of the first records of the name was Henricus filius Godefrid who was listed in the Pipe Rolls taken during the reign of King Henry II (1154-1189.)  It is generally believed that he was related to William Godefridus of Normandy listed in a census there taken 1180-1198.  However, the Godfrey variant had many early references including Godfrey the Bearded (c.?997-1069); and his son, Godfrey IV, Duke of Lower Lorraine (died 1706), known as the Hunchback who was assassinated in Vlaardingen; Godfrey of Bouillon (c. 1060-1100), a medieval Frankish knight, one of the leaders of the First Crusade, Godfrey of Cambrai, the prior of Winchester Abbey from 1082 until his death in 1107; and Godfrey (died 1088), medieval Bishop of Chichester.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Godfrey research. Another 197 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1666, 1273, 1622, 1678, 1648, 1714, 1641, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Godfrey History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 81 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Godfrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Godfrey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 229 words(16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Godfrey or a variant listed above:
Godfrey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Godfrey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Godfrey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Godfrey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Godfrey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Godfrey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Deus et libertas
Motto Translation: God and liberty.
The Godfrey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Godfrey Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 8 January 2015 at 12:49.